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Replacing Old Skylights

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Alright, now I’ve got Jay on the line with a skylight question. What’s going on?

    JAY: Oh, we’ve got a 20-year-old house and I have two skylights; one on the east exposure and one on the west. And I was wondering if it was the smart thing to be a little proactive and replace those skylights before I have trouble with them or do they normally deteriorate with age?

    TOM: Well, if they’re 20-year-old skylights, yes, they are going to deteriorate over age. I will say that if you replace them right now, Jay, you could actually qualify for a tax credit between now and the end of the year if you put a skylight in that is energy efficient.

    What type of skylight is this? Is it one that sits over the roof or is it like a plastic bubble that sort of …?

    JAY: It has the plastic bubble on it. It’s mounted through the roof.

    TOM: Flush?

    JAY: But it wasn’t a high-grade skylight when we bought it.

    TOM: Yeah. Well, it’s not a bad idea. What’s the roofing condition now? Are you ready for a new roof yet?

    JAY: Well, no. It was about five years ago we replaced it.

    TOM: Ah, so you have a new roof on old skylights, huh?

    JAY: So we just – yeah, we went around them.

    TOM: Yeah. Not a bad idea but I mean there’s never a good time to do it. If you feel like you have the cash right now and it’s something that you want to tackle, go ahead.

    There are a couple of different brands of skylight that I like because of their design. The Andersens and also the VELUX have a good flashing system where you basically put sort of a wood box on the roof – that’s the skylight itself – and then you lay flashing up against that. And it has a kit that covers the whole top edge from the glass right down to the step flashing; including a head piece that takes all the water that runs down and basically runs it around the unit. So I think that that’s a nice flashing system. There probably are some other manufacturers with similar ones. I’ve just personally put those two brands in and found them to be very effective.

    I don’t like the curbed skylights that rely on mastics to seal them to the roof because that’s just a leak waiting to happen.

    JAY: Right. OK, thank you.

    TOM: Alright, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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